Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomechanics Research Building

First Advisor

Dr. Brian A. Knarr


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between spatiotemporal dynamics and wrist kinematics during wheelchair basketball turns, with a focus on potential links to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Additionally, we aimed to compare upper limb joint kinematics obtained from Theia3D, a markerless motion capture system, against those from a traditional marker-based system. The study comprised two phases. In the first phase, 14 participants—12 able-bodied individuals and two wheelchair basketball athletes—performed propulsion exercises on an 8-meter pathway using a sports wheelchair. Data on upper limb joint kinematics were collected for both the markerless and marker-based systems to evaluate differences in joint angle measurements. Discrete outcome variables such as minimum (MIN) and maximum (MAX) peak joint angles, range of motion (ROM), root mean square (RMS), and root mean square error (RMSE) were analyzed. In the second phase, the wheelchair basketball athletes performed the "clover maneuver," a common turning technique in the sport, using only the marker-based system to measure spatiotemporal dynamics and wrist angles. Shoulder torque, push frequency, and wrist flexion/extension angles were among the additional metrics recorded. We tested differences between both system discrete outcome variables and found differences in the time series of the wrist sagittal and transverse plane of both limbs and differences in the elbow joints frontal plane of both limbs and both limb's shoulder angles in the y-axis of rotation. RMSE of non-significantly different angles ranging from 2 – 11 degrees. Notably, wrist extension during turns exceeded the established threshold associated with CTS risk. Furthermore, push frequency during the turn phase was higher compared to other phases of the maneuver. These findings suggest that wheelchair basketball turns may lead to elevated wrist extension angles and higher push frequency, potentially contributing to CTS risk. The study underscores the need for further research into the biomechanics of wheelchair basketball to better understand injury risk factors and inform prevention strategies.


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